Local Hero Braves Floodwaters to Rescue Villagers

by Manjari Singh

In the face of adversity, a true hero emerges – Paramjit Singh from Baupur Jadid stands as a beacon of hope and selflessness. Despite his own home being engulfed by the surging waters of the swollen Beas River, Paramjit’s unwavering determination compels him to provide aid to his fellow villagers.

For the past month, this resilient farmer has navigated floodwaters using a motorboat, tirelessly shuttling villagers to safety across the bridge of Baupur Mand and back. As floodwaters returned to the region on Tuesday, Paramjit and his brother Gurmeet Singh, the village sarpanch, extended their helping hands not only to their own village but also to the residents of 16 other submerged villages, totaling around 3,500 people.

Even with the presence of the NDRF and the Army in the area for the past three days, Paramjit’s dedication remains steadfast. “Daily, numerous individuals reach out to me, seeking assistance in relocating their belongings to safer grounds. I cannot turn them away in this time of dire need. Their unwavering trust in me compels them to believe that I will answer their call for help. Moreover, with minimal government relief materials reaching us, we must personally procure essential items, medicines, and necessities from the market. This requires traversing the waters by boat. We cannot abandon our homes to the risk of theft,” Paramjit stated.

As Paramjit tirelessly ferries people by boat, his family generously accommodates and supports 15 other families who find themselves marooned, providing them shelter and care.

Following Paramjit’s inspiring lead, other youth including Gurvinder, Dilbagh Singh, Manjinder, and Gurjant Singh have also taken up the mantle of aid. They assist families residing in precarious dwellings, helping them pack their belongings and relocate to safer havens. Gurvinder shared, “Currently, we are moving the possessions of these families to the upper floors of a government school within the village.” This dedicated group of youth was observed skillfully rowing a loaded manual boat, driven by their commitment to the well-being of their community.

Manjari Singh

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